The Canadian Guitar Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,461 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
At long last, I have this beauty in my possession! A year ago last summer, I contacted Ed Bond at Halcyon and we got started on the process of making this guitar a reality for me. I wanted a small-body with a full sound and this delivers that in spades. The walnut back and sides are supposed to be somewhere in the middle between rosewood and mahogany for tonal characteristics. I don't know how to tell, as I've never played one of these guitars with either of those tone woods, but this one sounds fantastic :) It has a ton of warm bass for a "small body" guitar, but a balanced sound that I am really beginning to enjoy. It came with D'Addario EXP Phosphor Bronze strings, which sounded good, but I have now put on a set of Martin SP 80/20s, which have taken away some of the warmth, but given it a bit more punch. I'm not sure where I'll settle for strings as things develop, but both sound good in their own way. I tend to like 80/20s, but we'll see.

The little details like the headstock inlay, fretboard markers, rosette and the little line of light coloured wood in the binding are all flawless and it is really beautiful. I made the pickguard myself from a sheet of Tortoloid I got at StewMac and it turned out pretty well, although if you look really closely, you can tell it was done by an amateur (ie. completely unlike the rest of the guitar :D). Anyway, I love it, it sounds great and I anticipate many years of enjoyment out of this beauty.









 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,560 Posts
JDTO, so I take it, it is an 00 size guitar? Some of the members over at AGF have some guitars with walnut back and sides and they rave about them. Yours looks great!

I would love to hear what it sounds like.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jdto

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,461 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
JDTO, so I take it, it is an 00 size guitar? Some of the members over at AGF have some guitars with walnut back and sides and they rave about them. Yours looks great!

I would love to hear what it sounds like.
It’s modelled on an old Gibson Nick Lucas model, which is a deep-bodied L-00. It’s the Gibson shape, rather than the Martin 00 shape, so a wider lower bout and narrower upper than the Martin would have. For a brief period, they were made with 13 frets to the body for Nick Lucas, which moves the bridge a bit further into the “sweet spot”, but allows for a touch more access up the neck, if so desired. Ed has reproduced that somewhat rare configuration in this model, which has been successful for him as one of his more popular models. It has a surprising amount of volume and bass for a “small” guitar when strummed and none of the boxy sound you sometimes get. The extra depth and the big lower bout likely help that. I used to have a Gibson L-00 Standard and it was also like that, although it could start to sound a touch boxy if you really dug in hard with a pick. I only play intermittently and not all that adeptly with my fingers, which is why it was important to have a small guitar that could respond to all kinds of strumming in a way that I enjoyed.

Walnut seems to be an increasingly popular tonewood and I can see why. Of course, the tone is likely determined by the luthier as much as the wood. Ed describes it as in between rosewood and mahogany and I can see why. It has that “woody” sound associated with mahogany but with a bit more overtone content, at least to my ears. Again, it’s tough to compare as I’d have to play the same guitar with the other woods to have a frame of reference. Also, it has a 1 3/4” nut :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,560 Posts
It’s modelled on an old Gibson Nick Lucas model, which is a deep-bodied L-00. It’s the Gibson shape, rather than the Martin 00 shape, so a wider lower bout and narrower upper than the Martin would have. For a brief period, they were made with 13 frets to the body for Nick Lucas, which moves the bridge a bit further into the “sweet spot”, but allows for a touch more access up the neck, if so desired. Ed has reproduced that somewhat rare configuration in this model, which has been successful for him as one of his more popular models. It has a surprising amount of volume and bass for a “small” guitar when strummed and none of the boxy sound you sometimes get. The extra depth and the big lower bout likely help that. I used to have a Gibson L-00 Standard and it was also like that, although it could start to sound a touch boxy if you really dug in hard with a pick. I only play intermittently and not all that adeptly with my fingers, which is why it was important to have a small guitar that could respond to all kinds of strumming in a way that I enjoyed.

Walnut seems to be an increasingly popular tonewood and I can see why. Of course, the tone is likely determined by the luthier as much as the wood. Ed describes it as in between rosewood and mahogany and I can see why. It has that “woody” sound associated with mahogany but with a bit more overtone content, at least to my ears. Again, it’s tough to compare as I’d have to play the same guitar with the other woods to have a frame of reference. Also, it has a 1 3/4” nut :)
I thought the lower bout looked a little large for an 00 size. That explains it. The nut size of 1 3/4" is becoming more and more popular except with Gibson. It's the perfect width for me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jdto

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,461 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I thought the lower bout looked a little large for an 00 size. That explains it. The nut size of 1 3/4" is becoming more and more popular except with Gibson. It's the perfect width for me.
Gibson acoustic does 1 23/32”. Luckily for me, I find it alright going from my J-45 TV to this one and back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,050 Posts
Looks really nice. Is the top Sitka or Adirondack?

I find MSP 80/20s only last me about a week and I can burn them in 2 or 3 days if I make an effort ... lol

Thinking about going on a string rampage for my HD28V as I’ve got sick of MSP 4200s and the elixirs on there now are a bit muddy for that guitar although they work good on the D18 and HD35. I’m wondering if my 35 might be Adirondack as its pretty bright for a 35 and they are supposed to be bass heavy pigs; it’s a CS and I don’t know what spec was ordered on it other than obvious differences 1.75 neck and pyramid bridge etc.

Anyway, nice guitar. Everyone has a right to life, liberty and a damn good time so have at er.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,461 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Looks really nice. Is the top Sitka or Adirondack?

I find MSP 80/20s only last me about a week and I can burn them in 2 or 3 days if I make an effort ... lol

Thinking about going on a string rampage for my HD28V as I’ve got sick of MSP 4200s and the elixirs on there now are a bit muddy for that guitar although they work good on the D18 and HD35. I’m wondering if my 35 might be Adirondack as its pretty bright for a 35 and they are supposed to be bass heavy pigs; it’s a CS and I don’t know what spec was ordered on it other than obvious differences 1.75 neck and pyramid bridge etc.

Anyway, nice guitar. Everyone has a right to life, liberty and a damn good time so have at er.
The top is Lutz spruce, which is a naturally-occurring hybrid of Sitka and white spruce. It gets a lot of praise from luthiers and Ed Bond (Halcyon builder) is quite high on it. I like what it does in this guitar, so far. I don’t know if I could compare it as my Adi guitar is a J-45 and Sitka is a Hummingbird, so the sound differences are going to be due to other factors than the wood.

Here’s Taylor’s description: Lutz Spruce
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,050 Posts
... sound differences are going to be due to other factors than the wood.
Once without knowing it I was able to compare two identical guitars except for the top. When playing the second one I looked at the sales guy and I said this ones got no mid range - he said yeah that ones Adirondack and the other one is Sitka.

I don’t get into it too much. If it sounds good it’s good but the difference was noticeable on two o/wise identical guitars although once you have a few guitars all with different characteristics it’s hard to isolate the effect of one difference between them.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,461 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Once without knowing it I was able to compare two identical guitars except for the top. When playing the second one I looked at the sales guy and I said this ones got no mid range - he said yeah that ones Adirondack and the other one is Sitka.

I don’t get into it too much. If it sounds good it’s good but the difference was noticeable on two o/wise identical guitars although once you have a few guitars all with different characteristics it’s hard to isolate the effect of one difference between them.
Yeah, there are a ton of factors that go into it. What I’ve read on Adi is that it has a long break-in period and a more significant “opening up” than Sitka. Given what I’ve experienced with my J-45 TV, I’d believe it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,586 Posts
Congratulations on the new Halcyon. I've only read about them over the years and haven't seen a bad thing about them yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,560 Posts
And now you have Honorary Hillbilly status.:)


I can’t answer for jdto, obviously, but that location for a strap button is the favorite spot for some players, particularly Southerners: Doc Watson always had his strap buttons put there. It was fairly common in Missouri when I still lived there, and that’s where I put them on 12 fret guitars.

Since he lives in Toronto, jdto is presumably not an American hillbilly. But speaking as a Missouri native, I think we could be talked into giving him Honorary Hillbilly status....

whm
 
  • Like
Reactions: jdto

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,762 Posts
that is something special having worked with woods you don't often see the grain that straight you know here in BC we are so fortunate especially now with the cities act to have so many fine builders ( luthiers ) building for guitar players and fortunate to to have some great guitar shops like blue dog and a private shop ( only by appointment ) of some of the greatest guitar builders which include our own congrats again on a true beauty. ship
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,487 Posts
that's effing gorgeous!
 
  • Like
Reactions: jdto

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,863 Posts
Very nice. Very nice.

You got me looking at their website. 13 frets is an interesting idea. And the prices look really good. It's got all three of my brain cells in a tizzy, thinking about it. Damn GAS!
 
  • Like
Reactions: jdto

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,461 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Very nice. Very nice.

You got me looking at their website. 13 frets is an interesting idea. And the prices look really good. It's got all three of my brain cells in a tizzy, thinking about it. Damn GAS!
It’s delayed gratification, as you have to wait out the lead time until your build, but it’s oh so worth it!
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top